Monday, August 11, 2008

The Ultimate Narcissist


In a PolitickerPA cartoon, the mainstream media turn a blind eye to John Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter. Despite this, the story is all over the place. Does this mean "an end to the era in which the mainstream media controlled the agenda for national political journalism?"

Blogs did not break this story. It was The National Enquirer.

How about locally? Aren't politicians entitled to a zone of privacy concerning their personal life? Should we report affairs that often have no relevance to someone's fitness for office?

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

affairs do impact someone's fitness for office.

do we not strive to elect leaders and representatives who we believe to be honest, who will, if elected, follow through with the promises made to us?

if someone can't be honest with and faithful to their families (who should be the most important people in their life), then how can we expect them to be honest with anyone else?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Got it. I always believed that if a pol was looking at the grass on the other side of the fence, it was irrelevant unless he/she also made some hypocritical statements about family values or something like that. But as I reflect on it, you're right.

Anonymous said...

Then you better check on Don Cunningham, who wants to be our next Governor.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yeah, but there's the problem. You have just cited a very damaging rumor, but have done it anonymously. Why? And where is the evidence? If something like this is out there - and it goes to all the things Tinkerbell mentions, then is it not important to get the facts right first? And in that arena, isn't it nearly impossible? You could say that about nearly every pol, but where's the beef?

Anonymous said...

personally, and unfortunately, i dont trust any politicians. especially the ones who are closest with the federal govt.

even more unfortunately, i especially do not trust the united states government.

there is prob some agenda as to why national media did not really put edwards out there like they do everyone else. some say they didnt have enough facts, some say its bc of his wife's condition...who knows.

Anonymous said...

The NYT ran unsubstantiated rumors about McCain on page one. The MSM now admits they knew about the Edwards affair two years ago. If Edwards were an R, the MSM would've trumpeted it long ago. That being said, if McCain wins, we'll have his former mistress as first lady.

If a guy is deceitful to his wife and family, he'll have no problem deceiving anonymous taxpayers. Those who say character is unimportant are usually those who'd prefer their poor character not impede their ambition.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There's no question the MSM blew this. There's no question the NYT made all kinds of suggestions about McCain's tiews to a female lobbyist, although it claims it was pursuing it from the lobby angle.

The MSM jumped all over the Criagster, a R, but itr also jumped all over Spitzer, a Dem.

I think what's really going on here is that the MSM still have a "boys will be boys" attitude.

Anonymous said...

How about locally? Aren't politicians entitled to a zone of privacy concerning their personal life? Should we report affairs that often have no relevance to someone's fitness for office?

Not anymore. With this rampant moral decay of society, fostered by television and movies (and to some extent the press), we need to elect leaders who are morally bound to traditional values and the core of this is your basic man-woman-children family. Tinkerbell 9:41 is right. Being moral IS relevant to someone's fitness for office. If you can't be true to your family, how are you going to be true to your constituents?

To borrow a line from Lenin: "destroy the family and you destroy the country." Like it or not, we can heed Vlad's warning.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

Here's why I think it is relevant:

First, although I'm not totally concerned with "honesty" or "family values" by politicians (ideal world, I guess?) I am concerned that elected office holders are able to understand and accept consequences. To me, the biggest fault of the current republican administration is their inability to forsee the consequences of their decisions and actions and therefore an inability to make the right choices.

It is a choice to get married. In most cases, the choice you make is to commit your life to a person, and to give up the opportunities to have sexual or romantic relationships with people other than your spouse. Sometimes there are other arrangements, open marriages and all that, but in most cases, this is the deal. Similarly, if and when the time comes that a person no longer wants to keep that deal, there is the option to get a divorce. Another choice. By choosing first to get married, and second to not get a divorce, but still having an affair, Edwards demonstrates to me that he is immature, and unable to accept the consequences of his choices, or to choose an appropriate course of action.

Secondly, this particular instance is an affair with a woman who was essentially a staff person to Edwards. This shows a HUGE lapse in judgment on his part, as far as I'm concerned. I don't think I need to get into all the reasons why a politician exploiting the power dynamic with staffers in a sexual way is totally gross, we learned all about that with Bill Clinton, but to me, its extremely relevant that a man who already holds office and is seeking a higher office is screwing an employee, whether he's married or not.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Clinton did a much better job than Bush. Maybe george needs to have an affair. Than he would be too busy too screw up the country. I personally think it is bullshit to say that a man that has an affair can't do his job well. If he's getting laid you know he's happier, and most likely more productive. Hey bernie, I've heard your buddy Stoffa banned county employees from commenting on your blog from work computers. I guess that will cut down on your county tipsters , huh?

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

oh I guess I should specify that I have no problem with people who have legitimate relationships with their employees/employers - I was referring specifically to clandestine affairs.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Edwards character but his taste in woman sucks. he could have done much better. I guess that would speak to his ability to make good choices or decisions..lol

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 11:28,

You are OT and factually misleading. IT installed new filtering software and it was mistakenly set too high, filtering practically everything out, including this blog and newspapers. I understand the problem is being fixed.

It's nice to know that Stoffa haters justify pols who have affairs.

Anonymous said...

His taste in women sucks..Srry. I am not counting Elizabeth. However, she knew about the affair and still supported his presidential run. So I guess she forgave him..

Anonymous said...

Your blog wasn't filtered out, just the commenters. Who said I hated Stoffa..Did I miss that?
Despite the fact that he didn't have an affair, I still like him. Even though i believe it is hurting his productivity..I am not justifying pols. I am merely stating opinion. I'll take Clinton and Kennedy over carter and Bush anytime..

Bernie O'Hare said...

"His taste in women sucks.."

It would have beeen OK if she were more attractive? More sane? I'm sorry, too, but this sounds like a sexist slam.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Your blog wasn't filtered out, just the commenters. Who said I hated Stoffa..Did I miss that?"

You are OT again. The blog is filtered out in many offices, along w/ nearly everything else. This is no deep Stoffa conspiracy, but is just problems w/ the new filtering software.

Bernie O'Hare said...

An OT comment about filtering software has been deleted.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

I have several problems with politicians who are having affairs:

My first issue was well stated by Tinkerbell who said "if someone can't be honest with and faithful to their families (who should be the most important people in their life), then how can we expect them to be honest with anyone else?"

The second issue is about judgment. If someone is reckless enough to engage in this sort of behavior while in office or running for office, perhaps they're not ready to be in office.

My third issue is related to the vulnerability attached to having an affair. Certainly at some point someone finds out about what's going on or the other party in the affair is going to talk. This leaves the office-holder or office-seeker open to blackmail or similar issues. This has the potential for the office-holder to be working for something other than the public interest.

All this is not to say that I think that if someone had an affair in their past that they should never run for office. It's just that I prefer to see that they can control themselves BEFORE they try to govern me.

Anonymous said...

To me, the biggest fault of the current republican administration is their inability to forsee the consequences of their decisions

What does a democrat having an affair got to do with the R's presumptive inability to deal with the consequences? I must have missed that one. Sounds like party rants agains. Missing pants are not limited to Rs or Ds
nlv

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

you missed the point. the point is not that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld can't understand action/consequence. instead, i am pointing out how serious that shortcoming can be (hundreds of thousands of dead people and three trillion dollars of future american debt), in explaining why i think a politician who can't keep it in his/her pants is relevant to the public and shouldn't be "their own private business"

Anonymous said...

Isn't a big part of the reason we care about this the same reason media was reluctant to print it? It's not nice to print a story about an affair; it feels ungentlemanly, even crass, to do it when the victim's a nice woman suffering a horrible disease.

Similarly, it's a bad sign about your character that you'd cheat on your spouse. It's a horrible sign that you'd do it under these circumstances.

Bernie O'Hare said...

An OT rant at 8:13 PM, posted by a Stoffa hater, has been deleted.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 6:51, Very well said. Tinkerbell points out, with very good logicv that a person dishonest enough to cheat is also dishonest enough to forget campaign promises. LOLV points out this is especially nasty when there is some kind of employer-employee relation. But as you note, it does feel ungentlemanly to write about this sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

So the deal-eo is if someone has less than glowing praise for Stoffa you delete their post. Like employees questioning his policies.
Hey Russia needs a need strong armed leader you seem to like that kind of rule, check it out comrade.
Is this a rant.ROFLMAO

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:56, The topic here is whether we should write about local pols who have affairs. Not everything is about Stoffa. Stick to the topic or face deletion.

Blah Society said...

I wanted to say that I agree with the point of view that Anon 9:41 has, but at the same time, I don't believe the media should excess over such situations.

P.O.V. aside, here's something to think about... If Edwards was a swinger and his family was ok with that, would he still be looked at as faithful and honest?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The argument of dishonesty or unfaithfulness would be inapplicable if that were the case.

Blue Coyote said...

"Alas for the affairs of men! When they are fortunate you might compare them to a shadow; and if they are unfortunate, a wet sponge with one dash wipes the picture away." - Aeschylus

Anonymous said...

BO wrote "The argument of dishonesty or unfaithfulness would be inapplicable if that were the case."

I would agree provided that the candidate is promoting himself as a swinger and not as a traditional family person.

Politicians owe some degree of honesty to the people they serve.

Blah Society said...

What if he never expressed that he was a swinger, but was later found to be one?

I guess what I'm getting at is what degree of privacy do politicians have? I agree that if someone can't be honest with their family that it's hard to trust them in power, but when does this all stop?

I think that people (including the MSM) flock towards the idea of drama because most people don't understand the important issues.

Anonymous said...

A.J.C. -

I don't think I'd have a problem with that.

However, most politicians seem to want to portray themselves as strong family men, in the traditional sense of the word.

I think Edwards used his wife's illness to some extent to further that impression. Obviously, there was more to the story.

Anonymous said...


The NYT ran unsubstantiated rumors about McCain on page one. The MSM now admits they knew about the Edwards affair two years ago. If Edwards were an R, the MSM would've trumpeted it long ago. That being said, if McCain wins, we'll have his former mistress as first lady.


Oh please. Enough with the liberal media bias. Get your tin foil hat and relax.

If this were true, why does the mainstream media ignore the fact that McCain had an affair, admittedly, with his current wife? And the circumstances of that affair were equally as lurid as Edwards. The difference? McCain is the candidate for President and Edwards is a former Senator.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hayshaker,

Therre is no question the MSM dropped the ball here. The NYT admitted that itself.

Anonymous said...

I agree. But is it a left wing conspiracy? I heard a WSJ columnist claim that following the lead of a tabloid would discredit the paper - especially if it turned out to be incorrect. Did you expect them to make another mistake like the recent McCain piece?

Why has the NYT not challenged McCain on his admitted affair with an heiress 20 years his junior?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The MSM, including the NYT, needs to rethink the importance of affairs. They have blown it with people from both parties.